Malawi has failed to benefit from China’s cancellation of interest-free loans extended to African governments as announced by Chinese Deputy Ambassador Lai Xing on Tuesday.
Ministry of Finance spokesperson Nations Msowoya, in an interview yesterday, said Malawi’s loans obtained from China do not fall under interest-free loans which the Chinese government is writing off.
He said Malawi owes China over K100 billion in loans used to put up several structures, including Bingu National Stadium, Umodzi Park that houses The President’s Hotel and Bingu International Conference Centre, presidential villas and Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must).
Said Msowoya: “The loans which we accessed from China are not interest-free and they are in excess of $110 million [K66.4 billion] which was used to construct the presidential villas, $60 million [K36.2 billion] for the construction of the Bingu National Stadium and $80 million [50.9 billion] used for the construction of Must.”
He said the first interest-free loan Malawi is going to benefit from China was signed in 2014, but the funds are yet to be transferred.
Making the announcement to a group of journalists in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Lai said the gesture was going to give the benefiting countries a chance to focus on development and security matters which in turn are going to improve on the economic development for it is going to be easier for foreign investors to invest in such countries.
He was speaking ahead of the 15th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (Focac) scheduled for Johannesburg in South Africa from December 3 this year. n